THE Works and Transport Ministry of Tanzania has revealed its plan to invest a staggering TSh3.418 trillion (about $1.5bn) in development finance during the 2023-24 fiscal year. Over two-thirds of the funds will be directed towards six crucial projects aimed at enhancing the country’s infrastructure and transportation networks.
The allocation of TSh2.3 trillion from the ministry’s development expenditures will primarily target the construction of seven new highways, the ongoing progress of the standard gauge railway (SGR), and upgrades to key ports. Additionally, the budget will include provisions for a new aircraft purchase by Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), the development of railway infrastructure by Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC), and the acquisition and restoration of ships.
Works and Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa presented the budget recommendations for 2023-2024 in Parliament, emphasising the government’s commitment to commence the construction of seven new roads in the upcoming fiscal year. These road projects, spanning a total distance of 2,035 kilometres, will be implemented using the engineering, procurement, construction, and financing (EPC+F) process. Mbarawa stated, ‘These roads will significantly unlock economic opportunities in these areas and the nation at large. Contractors have already been found, and contracts will be signed before the end of June 2023.’
The minister highlighted the historical significance of this undertaking, saying, ‘It will be the first time in the country’s history for road projects with a total distance of 2,035 kilometres and costing over TSh3.7 trillion to be implemented at once under this procedure.’ He added, ‘The funds will be used to construct a railway from Uvinza to Musongati-Gitega (282km) as funds are mobilised for the Kaliua-Mpanda-Karema (321km) and Isaka-Rusumo (371km) railway projects.’
Regarding port development, Mbarawa said the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has been allocated TSh820bn for its initiatives. Of this amount, TSh662.98bn will come from local sources, while TSh93.8bn will be provided by the World Bank. TPA plans to utilise these funds to deepen and expand the entry channel and turning basin to 15.5 meters and enhance the rail infrastructure at the Dar es Salaam Port. ‘The funds will also be used for deepening and strengthening berths number eight to 11 to reach 14.5 meters and continue with a feasibility study for the construction of berths number 12 to 15,’ the minister informed the House.
In terms of railway development, TSh294.8bn has been allocated for the restoration of existing infrastructure, equipment renovation, and planning of railway construction projects under the Railway Infrastructure Fund (RIF) managed by TRA.
To bolster the aviation transport system, the government intends to spend TSh300bn to fulfil contractual payments for three new aircraft, including a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and two Boeing 737-9s. Mbarawa also mentioned that preliminary payments will be made for the purchase of additional aircraft, such as a Boeing 737-7 and a DeHavilland Q400.
Furthermore, Mbarawa outlined the plans of Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL), which aims to invest TSh100bn in building cargo ships with capacities of 3,500 tons, passenger ships accommodating 600 individuals, and cargo ships capable of carrying 400 tons along Lake Tanganyika.
The ambitious investment programme reflects Tanzania’s determination to enhance its infrastructure, transportation systems, and overall economic development, ultimately benefiting both the country and its citizens.